Heartbreak does not get easier with experience. Each heartbreak hurts as if it is the first; as if the discrete historical moments of pure anguish never happened; as if I were staring down the end of my first love and relationship, not the 7th (or 8th? I've lost count) one.
The worst part is, he didn't see it coming. Why did I keep silent? Why did he? He felt that there was some distance between us, distance which I perhaps shoved between us on purpose, but he didn't say anything. Why did I not bring up the concerns that I had?
How did it escalate to this? I wanted to talk. Did I want this to end? Was that what I was after? How can I not know? I wanted to talk and I started off wanting to talk but it ended up in this. This - tears, pain, anguish, his heartbreak, our holding on to each other and his whispering, I wish this would never have to end.
How did I not know just how deeply he felt about me?
Why does everything that I touch eventually turn to stone?
I am so tired.
On the night that we broke up, I slept without the white noise machine that he gave me for the first time in months. I had got used to its low whirring noise, I thought; I would be unable to sleep without it. I turn it off in the morning when I am trying to remove myself from the comforts of my bed, precisely because I was under the impression that it lulled me to sleep. Perhaps it was the fatigue, the anguished sort caused by an emotional blow that you can never ever truly prepare yourself for, the kind that drains you and brings you to your knees, no matter how many times you've rehearsed for it (it seems as if you spend half your life bracing yourself for the eventual impact); the kind that hits where it hurts the most, shattering these fragments of what used to be a pure whole, haphazardly glued back together.
Whatever it is, regardless of the pain, I slept continuously on the night that we broke up even after forgetting to turn on the white noise machine. It is not that essential to my sleep after all.
I walk down Magdalene Street with a sudden stab of nostalgia for the simple pleasures of being with him. The special way he holds my hand, covering my thumb with his as if protecting something precious; his awkwardness which I once found adorable, fumbling for the appropriate words to express his feelings for me; our conversation, sometimes meaningfully serious, sometimes ordinarily mundane, sometimes completely silly; and how comforting it felt to have him around. He was my initiation to Cambridge. Perhaps that was the problem: he appeared in a time of uncertainty and I latched on to him partly because he took away the loneliness. But it was more than that; it was also him - his intellect, his ironic sense of humour, his sweetness, the pure goodness of his being.
He got attached, he said; he never gets attached. He got too close. He thought I was different, special even; he'd started to give up some of his freedom and plan things with me in mind. He'd let me into his life, his heart, this fragile organ that I held in my hands with a cavalier blindness to its significance because I was too busy protecting myself. In the end, it slipped from my grip. It shattered upon impact.
I miss him. I want to go to his door and take back everything that I said. I want to undo the damage that I have inflicted. But how do I feel something that I don't feel? How do I make myself see a future that I can't see? I sat down on a bench in front of Prezzo, facing Magdalene Bridge, battling my sentimental side, my fear of the unknown, my attraction to the familiar. I wrote all this down.
Then I came home and I replied to his message that he sent at 6am, telling him that I wish things could go back to the way they were, but it would be a bad idea, and that this is the right thing to do. He replied, saying he'd work hard at making his peace with this. He thanked me for my generous message. He wished me good luck for my moving out tomorrow, my meeting with my supervisors, and wished me a safe flight home. He even said hi to Cow and Totoro.
I was drawn, I think, to his pureness, his idealism, his goodness. But I am repelled from his light by the darkness that is in me - the cynicism, the disappointed idealism, the accumulated baggage of failed relationships and broken hearts, my inability to forgive myself and come to terms with the mistakes that I made in the past. He said that we can heal and repair ourselves; perhaps it is right. I am still waiting for that day to come.
I will miss him.